Many of the dogs and cats that end up at Helping Strays are normal, average, even ordinary pets. They have no idiosyncrasies, no real behavioral problems, they like people and they like other animals; they handle new experiences with equanimity. Oh, there are differences in energy level and preferred activities and rewards, but most of them will adapt easily to the household of the family lucky enough to fall in love with them.
There are a few, though, that while they are terrific pets, will not fit into just any household. They all need a home that is a little bit other than average, a little special. It may be as simple as someone home most of the time. It may mean a home with no other pets, or no cats or no dogs. It may mean an owner who is a little more vigilant, or a yard with a six foot privacy fence. Maybe someone willing to spend a little extra money on medication or a special diet. These dogs and cats are filled with joy and more love to give than you can possibly imagine, but, because they don’t fit in to every situation, they are harder to place and spend more time in the system. They may not be able to come to adoption events, so don’t get seen by the general public.
It’s not their fault. Somewhere in their past, something happened to these dogs and cats. Perhaps they were frightened or hurt at that age when it would make the biggest impression on them. Maybe they didn’t the right training at the right age. Maybe they just didn’t get enough experience when they were youngsters. Now, they are paying for the mistakes of others with months, sometimes years of waiting for a real, permanent home.
For instance, there is Emmet, a shy russian blue cat. Emmet has a hard time with change, and doesn’t like activity, or big spaces. The shelter was overwhelming for him. He has been in a foster home for 6 months, and has just learned to move beyond the bedroom. He is loving and happy when his foster mom is with him in “his” room, but he has a hard time coming out into the house at large. His only chance is someone who falls in love with his picture and is willing to take him on trust, until he learns to trust in return. There is also Kelsey, a beautiful black lab mix who loves balls and the out of doors. She does not get along with other female dogs and there is no room for negotiation. She needs a family that only has male dogs and cats. Piper is a big, loving snuggle bug who also enjoys rough play. She has never really understood how strong she is, so her perfect home doesn’t have any smaller pets or smaller children. Sweet Pea likes men, preferably with beards. She will come to tolerate a patient woman, but her adopter should be a man. Ali is loving and gentle with people, but must be an only pet. Yoyo doesn’t like small children. Lucy had a bout of liver failure and will need to be monitored for the rest of her life. Great dogs and cats, all of them, just not for every family.
If you have read over the adoption pages, you will have thought a lot about what your lifestyle and activity levels are, and what sort of pet will fit best into your household. Please think now about what makes your household special. If you are not an ordinary household, you may be very special indeed. In any given month, only one or two adopters might meet the requirements for one of these extra ordinary pets. If that adopter doesn’t look at one of them, they lose another month. There is no guarantee that you will fall in love with one of these special dogs and cats, but perhaps you might ask to meet one of them? There are homes out there for Piper and Ali and Kelsey and Emmet and Sweet Pea, just as there were homes for, most recently, Billy Bob and Coco, Diablo and Ellie. Helping Strays is committed to finding them homes. Maybe that home is yours.